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Joseph Haag
Moderator

172 Posts

Posted - Aug 24 2009 :  08:39:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Over the summer I've put some serious thought into the following question:

What exactly is it that makes a work of art great? Does technical proficiency have anything to do with it? For instance, does a violin virtuoso derive all of his or her greatness just from the sheer difficulty of the pieces her or she plays?

On the other hand, one could make the argument that technical proficiency doesn't make any difference. But would Mozart's works really be what they are if they did not cash in on Mozart's technical expertise?

I for one make the argument that technical proficiency is just a tool that the artist uses to create something, but a work should not be valued simply for its technical complexity or the difficulty it takes to create it. What's more important than any of that, in my opinion, is the response that the work produces in the beholder. As Kant said, one is not only aware of the thing one is viewing (in this case, Mozart's music); one is also aware of one's awareness of that work. In other words, one experiences both the music and one's response to the music.

[Lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]

Tom Trelogan
Forum Admin

1442 Posts

Posted - Aug 25 2009 :  09:42:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First of all, Joe, where does Kant make the remark you refer to here? Are you thinking of something he says in his third Critique? Second, is it really the same thing to be aware of one's awareness of something and to be aware of one's response to the thing in question? These don't seem to me to be the same, and consequently it seems to me that either your conclusion doesn't follow from your premises or, if one of your unstated premises is that those two things really are the same, then your argument rests on a false premise. Finally, shouldn’t we maybe move this discussion to the Agora? It's unclear to me what it has to do with the history of ancient philosophy.
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Joseph Haag
Moderator

172 Posts

Posted - Aug 25 2009 :  12:46:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree.
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Bill Wiltrack
Apprentice

20 Posts

Posted - Oct 16 2009 :  02:30:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Joseph, I enthusiastically accept your ideas.

May I ask you to join me in throwing the stone further down the road in saying…

Work is art. All work can be an art form. Not only is everyday work art but the mechanism of work has the ability to lead an individual to self perfection.

I would imagine we will part ways when…

I maintain that the structure of modern Organized Labor contracts provide the framework for an individual to arrive at an epiphany of sorts, a conceptual infinitum of self perfection.

I regress when I say that, as philosophers, we can agree upon the fact that through the discipline of philosophy we can look at ourselves in almost any action, any work, and through that awareness we can correct or improve our actions to more correctly induce our functions to conform to whatever discipline of work that we find ourselves at.

Modern, legal, recognized Organized Labor agreements narrow and define the medium just as a cellist or a floor gymnast hones their specialized craft.

As philosophers we are able to use the discipline of philosophy to look at ourselves. Through the discipline of Organized Labor we are able to define the specialized craft to which we can apply our specialized skills.

One is not only aware of the thing one is viewing; one is also aware of one’s awareness of that work. In other words, one experiences both the work and one's response to the work.

Technical proficiency is just a tool that the worker; the artist, uses to create something.

What’s more important than the response that work produces in the beholder?

Work should not be valued simply for its technical complexity, the difficulty it takes to create it, or simply for the fruit of the work, or the immediate monetary value added to its creator. The point of work, all work is its ability to advance an individual towards self perfection.




Philosophy is the ability to look at something common in an uncommon way.


I believe in the inherent good of Organized Labor.
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